At Kherkher Garcia, LLP, our amputation injury lawyers help victims of amputation accidents understand their legal rights, and the options they may have to pursue compensation. Amputation procedures are costly, and if negligence is to blame, you deserve to be compensated for your losses.
FAQs about Amputation Injuries
Below, our amputation injury lawyers discuss some of the most commonly asked questions that our team receives about amputation accidents and injuries.
How Common are Amputation Accidents?
Accidents that lead to an amputation are more common than most people would ever guess. Consider the following facts:
- Approximately 25% of all amputations are caused by traumatic accidents. This means that about 46,000 people in the United States have a traumatic amputation each year.
- The most common causes of traumatic amputations are:
- motor vehicle accidents (30%)
- work-related accidents (20%)
- machinery accidents (15%)
- About 70% of all traumatic amputations involve the upper limbs. This is because the upper limbs are more likely to be exposed to injury in accidents.
- Nearly 80% of accidental amputation victims are male. This is because men are more likely to be involved in accidents than women.
How do Amputation Injuries Affect Victims?
Amputations have a profound impact on the victim and their families. Aside from the traumatic event that leads to the amputation, the injury and aftermath can have dramatically affect the victims future. Consider the following:
- The average cost of a traumatic amputation is $1 million. This includes the cost of the surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and prosthetics.
- People with traumatic amputations are more likely to be unemployed and have lower incomes than people without amputations.
- People with traumatic amputations are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
For amputation injuries that are due to the negligence of someone else, these impacts are felt even more. There may be additional anger, frustration, anxiety, and a longing for justice. In these instances, it is important for victims and their families to seek help understanding their rights and possible options for compensation.
What are Common Accidents that Cause Amputation Injuries?
Accidents that can lead to amputation injuries often involve severe trauma to the limbs or digits. Here are some common types of accidents that can result in amputation injuries:
Accidents in workplaces such as factories, construction sites, and manufacturing facilities can lead to traumatic injuries involving heavy machinery, equipment, and tools. Limbs can become caught in moving parts or crushed, resulting in severe damage that may necessitate amputation.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car, motorcycle, and truck accidents can cause significant trauma to limbs upon impact or due to entrapment in the wreckage. Severe fractures, crush injuries, and damage to blood vessels and nerves can lead to the need for amputation.
Farming equipment and machinery pose significant risks. Tractors, combines, and other agricultural equipment can cause severe injuries if not operated or maintained properly.
High-voltage electrical shocks can cause extensive damage to tissues and nerves, leading to severe injuries. In some cases, the damage is irreparable, and amputation might be necessary to prevent further complications.
Beyond industrial settings, accidents in various workplaces, such as construction sites, warehouses, and even offices, can result in traumatic injuries that require amputation. Falls from heights, being struck by falling objects, or getting caught in machinery are potential scenarios.
Activities like sports, outdoor adventures, and recreational vehicle use can lead to traumatic injuries. Accidents involving boats, ATVs, bicycles, and sports equipment can result in severe limb damage.
Accidental discharge of firearms can cause extensive damage to limbs. In some cases, injuries might be so severe that amputation is the only option to prevent infection or save the person’s life.
Explosions, whether from industrial accidents, gas leaks, or other sources, can cause severe trauma to limbs due to flying debris, burns, and blunt force.
Pedestrians hit by vehicles can suffer severe injuries, including limb trauma. Depending on the severity of the impact, amputation might be necessary.
It’s important to note that in many cases, prompt and effective medical intervention can help minimize the extent of injuries and reduce the need for amputation. However, in situations where the damage is extensive and irreparable, amputation might be the best option to prevent infection, save the person’s life, or improve their overall quality of life.
What is the Recovery Process for Amputations?
The recovery process for amputations is a journey that involves physical, emotional, and psychological aspects. The specific steps and timeline can vary depending on factors such as the level of amputation, individual health, and the cause of the amputation. Here’s a general overview of the recovery process:
Immediate Postoperative Period
Right after the amputation surgery, the focus is on wound healing and pain management. The residual limb (stump) will be dressed and monitored for signs of infection or complications. Pain medication and antibiotics may be administered as needed.
Wound Healing and Rehabilitation
Physical therapy and rehabilitation begin soon after surgery to prevent muscle atrophy and joint stiffness. The residual limb is carefully wrapped in a compression bandage to control swelling and shape the limb for a prosthetic device.
Fitting and Training with Prosthesis
Once the residual limb has healed sufficiently, the individual may be fitted with a prosthetic device. Training with the prosthesis starts, focusing on learning how to walk, balance, and perform daily activities with the new limb. Regular maintenance and adjustments to the prosthetic device are necessary to ensure proper fit and function.
Ongoing physical therapy aims to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination. Exercises are designed to help the individual adapt to the prosthetic limb and regain functional mobility. Ongoing physical therapy and regular check-ups with medical professionals are important for maintaining functional mobility and addressing any issues that arise.
Psychological and Emotional Support
Coping with the emotional aspects of amputation is crucial. Many individuals experience grief, depression, anxiety, and body image issues. Counseling, support groups, and mental health professionals can provide emotional support during this period.
Adaptive Techniques and Lifestyle Adjustment
Learning adaptive techniques for activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and cooking, helps regain independence. Modifications to the living environment might be necessary to accommodate the individual’s needs.
As the individual becomes more comfortable with their prosthesis, they may engage in recreational activities and hobbies they enjoyed before amputation. Social support from family, friends, and support groups can aid in the adjustment process.
Managing emotions, body image, and self-esteem remains an ongoing process. Mental health support continues to be important.
The recovery process can be challenging, but with the right medical care, rehabilitation, and emotional support, many individuals are able to adapt and lead fulfilling lives after amputation. It’s important for the individual, their caregivers, and their healthcare team to work collaboratively to achieve the best possible outcomes throughout the recovery journey.
Can I File a Lawsuit after an Amputation Injury?
You may be able to file a lawsuit after an amputation injury if the amputation was caused by the negligence of another party. This includes accidents caused by:
- Motor Vehicles: If you are injured in a car accident and your amputation is caused by the negligence of the other driver, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver and their insurance company.
- Workplace Accidents: If you are injured in a workplace accident and your amputation is caused by the negligence of your employer or a co-worker, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer and their insurance company.
- Premises Liability: If you are injured in an accident on someone else’s property and your amputation is caused by the negligence of the property owner, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the property owner and their insurance company.
- Medical Malpractice: If you are injured during a medical procedure and your amputation is caused by the negligence of the doctor or other medical professional, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the doctor and their insurance company.
In order to file a lawsuit after an amputation injury, you will need to prove that the other party was negligent and that their negligence caused your amputation. This can be a complex process, so it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Is there a Time Limit for Filing an Amputation Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after an amputation injury varies. In most states, you will have two years from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations may be shorter if the amputation was caused by medical malpractice. It is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations as it applies to your case.
What Damages Can I Recover in an Amputation Injury Case?
The damages you can recover in an amputation injury case will depend on the specific facts of your case. More generally, the types of damages often available in amputation cases may include:
- Economic Damages: Economic damages are those that can be easily quantified, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. These damages are typically easier to prove and recover than non-economic damages.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are those that are more difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. These damages are typically more subjective and may be more difficult to prove and recover.
More specifically, these types of damages often include compensation for the following:
- Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of the surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and prosthetics.
- Lost Wages: If you are unable to work due to your amputation, you may be entitled to recover your lost wages.
- Future Lost Wages: If your amputation is expected to impact your ability to work in the future, you may be entitled to recover your future lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering: This includes the physical pain and emotional distress you have experienced as a result of your amputation.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This includes the things you can no longer do or enjoy as a result of your amputation.
- Loss of Consortium: If you are married, your spouse may be entitled to recover damages for the loss of your companionship, services, and support.
It is important to note that the amount of damages you are awarded will depend on the facts of your case and the laws of the state in which you file your claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Can I afford an Amputation Injury Lawyer?
After an accident involving serious injuries or amputation, the last thing your family needs to be worried about is your financial security. Often, however, the primary concern that personal injury clients have is how they will afford legal representation.
At Kherkher Garcia, our services are dedicated to helping victims obtain maximum compensation. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us no fees up front. We only get paid if we obtain a verdict or settlement in your case. Our team will be transparent with you from the start about what you can expect in the way of fees or court costs.
Get Started with a Free Consultation
To get started learning more about your legal rights and how our skilled lawyers can help you, call us at 713-333-1030. We offer a free consultation to every potential client. Call us, or complete our online form to get started.